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Great story! Had me reading it the whole way through.
Review My Poetry / Re: Can you guys please review my poem?
« Last post by Desiderio Paz on April 20, 2019, 07:41:56 PM »
You might want to take a moment to read the posting guidelines, review some other poems, and introduce yourself.
The emotions in "Untitled" are constrained by forcing the rhymes. Through out every word that isn't essential to express the message and then see if you need to reconstruct a meter to give it the right sound.
Review My Work / Looking for Feedback on Romance Fanfiction, Word Count: 1.128
« Last post by olganicole on April 20, 2019, 05:03:52 PM »
I am looking for beta readers, so I can get some constructive criticism on my work. Below I have posted a sample of my work.


Whenever life seems to good to be true, it usually is. That little saying has gained a whole new perspective in the little town of Virginia, Mystic Falls, where nothing is as it seems. In the dark, where shadows lurked, no one could be sure of what was hidden. Beings that have no right to exist according to logic and science were nothing extraordinary and out of the blue in Mystic Falls. Vampires, werewolves, witches and, even, hybrids would be considered as myths just a few years ago by Caroline, but now nothing is the same. In fact, most of those creatures were her either her best friends, acquaintances and some of them were even enemies.

A seemingly normal day in the life of a plain human, in Caroline's life that meant dead people coming back to life, her friends being in danger and in general another dangerous beast would knock on their door or come upon their path. Today was one of those so-called 'normal' days, as the Mystic Falls gang had another urgent issue they needed to take care of, or if I am being honest two. First, being the reckless, unpredictable and insane Silas, who was just another doppelganger, this time resembling to Stefan. Their second task and problem for the day was a little more complex. The one and only Katherine Pierce - or Katerina Petrova, as some may know her - was supposed to be dead. But no, just when all of them thought they had gotten rid of her once and for all, a glorious detail has revealed itself upon Caroline and Stefan on one of their long hours discussions. There was a tinie-tiny possibility that Katherine was not dead, but has actually trespassed to Elena's body as a traveller. This information was brand new for them and came to wreck their already perfectly unstable, supernatural and horrific lives.

As it turned out, Caroline and Stefan were right and Katherine was indeed not actually dead yet, which meant Elena was temporarily put off right now, like in a comma. The only brain and personality that was acting out right now was Katherine's and, taking in consideration that Katherine was kind of evil, everyone was sure that Katherine had to be put down, in order to bring back Elena. But for that to happen, Katherine had to die, which meant that they had to get her to meet with one of them. However, that didn't seem to be possible for now, since Katherine replied negatively to everyone that has asked of her to meet for a more and more ridiculous excuse each time.

No one seemed to be able to think of a proper idea on how to meet up with Katherine, in order to kill her. Not even Damon, who always had something to say. Now, even he remained silent, squeezing his brains out trying to make up a plan, which would lead to Katherine's end and, thus, to Elena coming back to life and to him.

Everyone was gathered around the Salvatore's living room, which included, besides Caroline, Stefan and Damon, Bonnie, Jeremy and the merely human Matt Donovan, all of which struggled to think of something as dark and evil as Katherine Pierce. Yet, as expected, it turned out to mission impossible, taking into consideration that the she-devil was manipulative and wicked, so of course she would always be one step ahead of them. Suddenly, the dead silence was disrupt by a defeaning ringtone, coming out of Matt's phone. Abruptly, he picked it up and everyone stares at him. Some look at him worried for the reason of the call, while others - Damon - glare at him filled with annoyance and murderous thoughts. the other side of the line was none other than Tyler Lockwood himself, sounding a tad frustrated and, as it seemed, bearing bad news.

After a short talk over the phone, he was informed, just like the majority of the room due to supernatural hearing, that amidst his shifting to a werewolf, he had accidentally, as he claimed, bitten Nadia, Katherine's daughter. And there it was, the solution to the root of all of their problems, or to be more exact the problem which had its own name, Katerina Petrova. Everyone was aware about the fact that they could benefit from Nadia's sickness, which would sure lead to her death, because there was no way Katherine would ask Klaus for help. The thing was that no one knew what needed to be done, so that Nadia's state would favor their not so noble intentions.

At the same time, in another city, in another home, a shattered and hungry King was drowning his sorrows in alcohol and human blood. Klaus Mikaelson has faced one of the most heartbreaking incidents that can happen to a human being ; losing his child and then surviving to relive the same pain each and every day of his life. Unfortunately, while for most people lifetime would not last more than a couple of decades, he was doomed to relive the moment his daughter, Hope, left this world forever, since he could neither be killed nor commit suicide. One of the main burdens of being an Original vampire.

Whereas he was alone and drunk in the illusion of peace that the alcohol mixed with blood offered him, Hayley has already moved out of the mansion in a lame attempt to forget all about losing her one child. She didn't need a reminder every moment of the day for the reason behind her daughter's death and Klaus knew it very well and understood completely. Elijah was miserable without Hayley, but he tried to even out the feeling by keeping his mind busy with other occupations, such as running the city of New Orleans, seeing as Klaus was no longer in place to do that anymore. Everything has changed and nothing has remained the same. The city he loved more than anything was ruled over by chaos and destruction, but he didn't seem to care anymore.

The only thing that seemed to give him hope that better days would come was the promise he has made to himself and to Caroline. He has promised to never come back to Mystic Falls, yet an eternal ambition has been born out of ashes. His last words to Caroline hida deeper meaning underneath them. What was left unsaid, but both him and Caroline acknowledged without spelling it out was that he could not return, however that didn't mean that she couldn't seek out for his help or even come in New Orleans in search for him. But that was a long shot and very afar from the reality, which meant only one thing. Klaus Mikaelson was alone and alone he shall remain.
Welcome Board - START HERE! / Hi all
« Last post by thermalx on April 20, 2019, 11:17:27 AM »
Hi , there
I’m from the USA.

I’ve not done any professional writing at all.  But I have ideas for stories and want to take a stab at it.  (I used a cliché, I know!)

I’ve just started a story, which I refer to as my novel because perhaps one day it will be.  Hopefully the people here will be interested in giving honest feedback.  And although I am not a professional writer, I would be happy to react to others’ writing as well.

Thanks all!
Review My Poetry / Re: Can you guys please review my poem?
« Last post by Louis D. Thorpe on April 20, 2019, 10:53:41 AM »
I don't consider myself to be an adequate critic of poetry so I am not reviewing -do not believe I am qualified...

Just responding to say that if I wrote it I would call it "heart ache".

Can you judge a poem by its title?

Keep writing

The Coffee Shop / Are we all the same? -this is a serious question.
« Last post by Louis D. Thorpe on April 20, 2019, 08:29:44 AM »
I am beginning to believe that all reasonably educated people (or those endowed with life experience and common sense) are all the same in this sense -Don't we all (those who are reasonably curious) like to do the same thing -which is to enjoy life and to exercise the opportunity to express ourselves or to be creative?

Isn't that essentially it?

If there is more to it, what is it?
Welcome Board - START HERE! / Hello all
« Last post by rodig0 on April 20, 2019, 01:00:14 AM »
Hello , all
I'm a former aspiring writer who'd like to give it another shot. At the moment I'm kept much too busy by my 2 year old to actually sit down and write but I'm mulling over ideas and trying to get a chapter plan down.

I write fantasy novels. My first is self published on kindle, but with zero promotion it sank straight into obscurity.

I've never tried an online writers circle before, thought I'd give it a go.
All the Write Questions / Advice for a critique partner
« Last post by alveszer on April 19, 2019, 11:20:56 AM »
I've been critiquing work for some time now. Both online and in person at a local critique group. I recently offered to help a woman in a group I am in and I am having some issues I am hoping I can receive wisdom about. Her writing definitely needs work. It's extremely difficult to read or decipher what is going on. All the issues she has to work on are not the problem, though. She is inconsiderate (if that is even the right word to describe it).
The work clearly hasn't been revised. In any fashion. I stopped reading her first draft and requested (politely) she tighten up some of the work and instead of sending me the revised work, she messaged saying she had sent 18 new pages. Imagine my surprise upon opening the document and discovering it was 100 new pages of completely unrevised work that was already challenging to critique.
She gave a few other critiquers some serious attitude when they mentioned that her work was difficult to read. Which was kind of a turn off for me as we are all volunteering.
This woman has an interesting premise and I want to help her, but I'm really turned off by her behaviour and lack of consideration for her critiquers.

How on earth do I politely let this woman go without making her feel bad?
Review My Work / Feedback for Opening Chapter (Science Fantasy, 2137 words)
« Last post by wkerwick10 on April 19, 2019, 12:18:37 AM »
Hi all,

Looking for feedback for my debut science fantasy novel's prologue + opening chapter. Constructive criticism would be helpful - is the material engaging enough? How's the pacing? Descriptive enough? Are you drawn into the story/wanting more or does it feel sort of meh?

Also looking for beta readers in general so if you happen to like what you see below feel free to send me a message! Thanks in advance for your time everyone :) I really appreciate it.


The Maelstrom howled like the breath of chaos.

Deep beneath the peaks of the D’Marren mountain range, it raged against the walls of the Sanctuary. Gusts of wind from the mouths of gods screamed out sound. A typhoon of magic and energy fluxed through the Sanctuary’s interior on the backwinds of time.

In the Maelstrom, it was the end of the world.

The Arch Lord sat in its midst, clad in a simple black robe, resting upon the stone chair in the middle of the circular stone room. The Maelstrom tore all about him, encapsulating him in its all-consuming rage. Tongues and whips of magic slid across pristine walls like wind across the surface of a lake. The very stones beneath him vibrated in their wake.

May the gods help me. Beneath the folds of the black hood that shrouded his face, the Arch Lord touched a Dualist crown to his forehead. The Maelstrom howled back at him.

May the crowns help me.

A roaring response. He touched the crown to his head again.

And may the darkness help me – for the things that I must do.

The Maelstrom exploded in fury, lashing through the Sanctuary with the strength of an earthquake. The Arch Lord let the magic hiss through his ears. The folds of his black robe flapped in the wind. The time would come soon.

The Arch Lord let his consciousness meld into the void of the Maelstrom. In its sleek embrace, he was infinite. He reached out to it with his mind, touching it. Warmth. Energy. He could see nothing except the cloudy vortex surrounding him. Though it was just behind him, the Door he sought to open was far, far away.

But it would open soon. He knew this to be true.

Centuries ago, the first Arch Lord had created the Maelstrom with his dying breath. The magic storm hidden in the depths of the Sanctuary was the last essence of his life. The current Arch Lord reached out and touched it again. It felt like a bolt of lightning against his mind. He delved into his inner consciousness, searching.

Nearby, nestled in a maze of rock and bronze, the Door stood like a silver colossus, dutifully guarding the pathways between worlds.
After a time, the Arch Lord finally rose to his feet.

May the darkness prepare me for the things that I must do.

Chapter 1

Bright rays of the sweltering morning sun filtered through the overhead canvas of swaying trees as Talryn hiked his way up the forest path. Dry leaves and dirt crunched beneath his heel, strained from the droughts that were common in these parts, leaving behind a trail of dusty footprints. The clean, crisp air felt good in his lungs – a far cry from the stuffy, sterile environment of the military base not far to the south. The dead heat of the Keltish summer was well underway, and sweat dripped from his exposed arms and chest, which weren’t protected by his black tank top or lightweight camouflage pants.

Small animals skittered amongst the trees, chirping and clicking as they looked for food or the solace of a shaded nook to rest in. Talryn listened to each one as he passed along the worn trail he’d travelled many times before – for a trip he wasn’t technically supposed to be taking.

After a short time, he heard the sound of the nearby river: a telltale sign that he was close to his destination. He shouldered his pack and climbed over a cliff of boulders shrouded by trees, coming up upon a bright, sunny clearing. The area was partially closed off by a rusting fence that had probably been there for decades.

This was the spot. His usual contact hadn’t arrived yet. Talryn checked his watch.

He’s late.

While he waited, he sat down by the edge of the boulders, beneath a solitary tree that was a long distance off from the rest of the woods. The ravine in front of him spanned for miles as the massive river at its base glistened in the summer’s furnace, snaking its way to the south. This was one of Talryn’s favorite spots, where he could watch the river travel its lazy, rolling path while he napped or read or wrote in the comfort of the sun.

At twenty-six, Talryn was tall and lean, with fair skin and a strong, angular jaw. His arched, dark eyebrows helmed a sharp nose and confident, arctic-blue eyes that were often scanning or deep in thought. Wavy locks of chestnut hair rode above his rugged, youthful face like the windswept feathers of a bird’s wing, and the rest of it was sheared clean at the nape of his neck – the traditional haircut for Keltish soldiers.

Talryn heard the chain-link fence rattling, and he twisted his head, squinting, to see a panting boy racing over to him.

“Sorry I’m late,” Matthew spurted, his cheeky face dripping with sweat as he peered down at Talryn. “My mom needed me to help her with the dishes n’all that.”

Talryn waved it off. “Not a problem, Matthew. Your family should come first. Especially your mother, since she’s got you to handle all day. I reckon it’d drive me halfway insane.” Matthew opened his mouth to retort but stopped when Talryn grinned. “Kidding, kidding. Sort of.” He leaned in, lowering his voice. “Do you have the goods?”

Matthew solemnly nodded, opening his pack. “You wouldn’t believe what I had to do to get these out of the house unnoticed.” With a dramatic kneel, he placed a six-pack of Morton-Heissman soda-pop at Talryn’s feet.

Talryn appraised Matthew carefully – the kid was probably only twelve, but he was resourceful. And a good businessman. Matthew’s unruly shag of brown hair was matted to his forehead with sweat as he pushed the soda cans towards Talryn. The youth had the distinct, childish, almost endearing huskiness of a middle-school kid in his awkward years. “Brilliant. Has anybody ever told you you’re a genius?”

Matthew shrugged. “My math teacher. Do you have your side of the bargain?”

Talryn reached into his pack and unfurled a bag of dried meats, potatoes, and cheese. “You got it. I threw in a little extra this time for your mom. She was way too skinny the last time I saw her. Make sure she gets enough to eat, alright?”

Matthew looked at it uncomfortably, twiddling his thumbs. “That’s a lot. Are you sure you don’t want more for it?”

Talryn shook his head. “Nah. Consider it a treat.”

“Thanks, I guess,” Matthew said, squashing his hands on his hips. He watched as Talryn put the soda cans into his pack. “Say, what do you want those for, anyway?”

Talryn looked over at him as he continued placing them carefully inside the bag. “They don’t have any at the military base and the local stores are too far away to travel to on foot, so I get them from you instead. They’re my favorite drink. I’d rather throw myself off a cliff than go a month without them.”

Matthew raised an eyebrow, his face curling in bewilderment. “That’s...dramatic.”

Talryn zipped up his pack and gave him a hard look. “Oh, come on. Tell me you don’t have anything you care about like that.”

Matthew pondered the thought for a moment. “...Pound cake?”

Talryn shrugged approvingly. “See? We’ve all got our vices.” He laid down on a flat rock next to the tree, stretching as the sun warmed him.

Matthew sat down next to him, picking at twigs with his dirty fingernails. “The reason my mom’s been getting skinnier is because she keeps giving me and my sister all the food we have. She won’t eat it, keeps saying something about how we need it more than she does because nobody has enough money to buy anything nowadays.”

Talryn twisted his head and squinted at him against the sunlight. “She’s your mother. She’d do anything for you. Always remember that.”

The dry twigs cracked and snapped as Matthew scooped them up, rolling them in his hands. “Why does it have to be that way, though? I mean, nobody’s getting enough food. Most of the town is starving and my family is too poor to buy anything, no matter how hard my parents work. My father keeps telling us to wait, that ‘everything is going to work out,’” Matthew imitated gruffly. “Why can’t the government help? Where’s all the country’s money? We pay taxes every year just like everybody else. How come nobody’s helping us?”

Talryn was silent for a moment. “Because the government wants to spend more on war and killing people and developing useless weapons than helping its own citizens. Maybe it used to care about people, a long time ago, but I doubt it does any longer.”

Matthew frowned, puffing his cheeks out. “Well, that’s bleak.”

“Yep.” Talryn sighed, looking over at Matthew again. “Look, sometimes it has to be up to us. If we want this world to be anything worth fighting for, we need to help each other out. And we need to care about other people.”

Matthew shifted uncomfortably, holding the bag of goods that Talryn had given him. “Is that why you’ve been bringing us food every week?”
Talryn nodded. “That, and my cans of Morton-Heissman. Don’t forget those.” He grinned and popped open the one that was sitting in his lap. “Wanna try it?”

Matthew looked at it apprehensively. “My mom says I’m not supposed to have them.”

Talryn shrugged, taking a long sip. “Fine. I guess I’ll have this incredibly delicious beverage all to myself, then. Not a problem.”

“Fine, fine – let me try it,” Matthew interrupted. He took a small sip, and his eyes widened into saucers. “That’s – that’s – amazing! Why has she been hiding this from me?”

Talryn burst out laughing. “Because the things are pretty much poison – chalk full of sugar. Think of it as a treat, not something you should drink regularly. I’m glad you like it, though.” He stood up, throwing his pack on. “Anyway, I have to go back to the base now. See you around, Matthew.”

Matthew jumped to his feet. “Same time next week?”

Talryn smiled sadly. “Yeah – same time next week.” He didn’t have the heart to tell Matthew that he would likely be deployed later that day to a country hundreds of miles away. In just a few hours’ time, actually, if everything ran smoothly. He hoped the extra meat he’d brought this time would last the kid and his family for awhile. It was the least he could do.

Matthew smiled a big, toothy grin and trotted off towards the fence before climbing through a hole big enough to fit through. Back that way was the town of Redville, where Matthew and his family lived.

Talryn stood there another moment, watching the river and finishing his can of soda. When he was done, he crushed it up and threw it into his pack. He started back into the forest, about a fifteen-minute trek from the military base.

As Talryn walked through the quiet forest, an odd sensation crept up on him, as if he was being watched. He paused, listening intently for the sound of anyone nearby. After only a moment, he realized something strange.

It was too quiet. The sounds of the animals and insects were gone, missing, as if they’d all fled in unison and vacated the forest.
Talryn slowly pulled out the handgun strapped to his hip as his blood turned cold. His eyes scanned the tree line with razor-like precision, his finger a split second from the trigger.


Then, in the corner of his eye, he saw movement. A dark figure leapt from behind a tree and sprinted into the brush faster than Talryn’s eye could follow. “Hey!” Talryn yelled. “Get your ass back here!” He lunged after the mysterious figure, trampling leaves and dirt as he raced through bramble and branches. It took him only a second to realize he’d already lost track of whoever had been following him.

“Yeah, you better run, asshole,” Talryn muttered beneath his breath.

As he turned back to the trail, he heard the humming background noise of the forest alive with sound. The crack and snap of small animals traveling and the clicking of insects had returned.

Talryn rubbed his temples, unsure of what he’d seen. That was...strange.

He figured it had probably been a civilian curious to follow a soldier on his patrol. Maybe the person hadn’t had anything better to do. Still, though, he knew what he’d heard.

Dead silence – like the calm before the storm. He wondered what could’ve caused it.

After studying the trees one last time, he continued on his way back towards the military installation.
Review My Work / Re: The Party Crasher (Sci-Fi/Horror)2000 words
« Last post by Stayce on April 18, 2019, 08:58:10 PM »
Hey there! I’m new to these boards, but am trying to offer critique where I can. I noticed that you don’t seem to have had any feedback on this yet so thought I’d offer my two cents.

It’s an interesting opening, like a much more pulp Cloverfield, and I like the little details like the mirror Steve has propped against the door. That part was nice and suggestive of the thing he has trapped in the basement without giving too much away.

A few comments I have though. First is that big block of opening dialogue. It’s not entirely clear at the beginning who Steve is talking to, and it took a little time to figure out that he’s actually addressing the camcorder. A simple fix for this would be to just insert a bit of description of him picking up the camcorder to address it directly before he starts speaking.

Another thought I had is that the camcorder actually seems to be the reader’s perspective for most of the chapter, but not always consistently so. For instance, if the camera is our viewpoint, how do we know Steve’s name? He never states it. Also, maybe think about why Steve is making this recording. Is it for posterity? Is he trying to cover his ass? Is he a YouTuber? It’s not very clear.

I have a suggestion (or maybe a challenge) for you. Why not try leaning into this camera-as-viewpoint-character idea you seem to be toying with and go full ‘found footage’ with this bit? Try shifting the tense to the present and simply describing what the camera sees? Try to capture that feeling of watching this recording on a tv screen. It might not work, but it would bring in a bit of consistency for the viewpoint and if you could get it to work, it might make things a bit more evocative.

Anyway, hope my ramblings are of some use and I look forward to seeing anything else you have.

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